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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 February 2007, 16:56 GMT
French police probed in riot case
Poster of Zyed Benna and Bouna Traore
The two boys are still remembered in ethnic minority communities
Two French police officers have been placed under formal investigation over the death of two youths in an incident which prompted weeks of rioting.

The officers face possible charges over allegedly failing to help the boys, who died at a power sub-station while running away from police near Paris.

An internal police inquiry confirmed they were being chased - which the authorities had initially denied.

The deaths in 2005 sparked three weeks of riots in poor suburbs across France.

The rioting - in which thousands of cars were torched - highlighted the disaffection of many ethnic minority French youths.

Zyed Benna, 17, and Bouna Traore, 15, were electrocuted while hiding in a sub-station in Clichy, a north-eastern suburb of Paris, in October 2005.

Rioting in Toulouse in November 2005
9193 cars burnt
2,921 arrests
21 nights of riots
Source: French police

Last December the internal police report - based on radio exchanges at the time - confirmed that officers had been pursuing the boys.

The report said no action had been taken to ensure their safety in the site, including alerting the power provider - although it said this might not necessarily have saved their lives.

The investigating judge must decide whether there is enough evidence to try the police officers on charges of "failing to assist people in danger" - a crime in France.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail.

Three other officers are still being questioned over the incident.

Paris riot probe confirms chase
07 Dec 06 |  Europe
France's city policy in tatters
07 Nov 05 |  Europe

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